Rajshahi district was a part of the Pundra region of ancient Bengal ruled by the Pundra Kingdom. The capital of Vijay Sen, the king who led military operations in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia was located 14 kilometres (9 mi) to the west of Rajshahi town. In medieval times, the region came to be known as "Rampur Boalia". The origin of the present name of "Rajshahi" is debated among scholars. Most say that it takes its name from Hindu Kings and zamindars (or "Rajas") as Raj and the persianised Shahi; both of which mean "royal" or "kingdom". The administrative district was established in 1772 and the municipal corporation in 1876. Rajshahi was dominated by various Maharajas, Rajas and Zamindars.
Apart from the usual agricultural products of Bangladesh, such as rice, wheat, potatoes and lentils, Rajshahi and its neighbouring regions are specially suited from various crops such as mangoes, lichis, sugarcane, tomatoes and watermelons. In spite of being an important city and located on a riverbank, industrial development in Rajshahi has not taken place to any great extent. There is an industrial park in Rajshahi, which is now mainly home to industries producing products of the famous Rajshahi silk. The head office of regulatory board for sericulture, Bangladesh Sericulture Development Board, is based in the city. Rajshahi is also home to a number of jute, textile and sugar mills, pharmaceutical and mango based industries. Two 50 MW power plants have been built at Katakhali to meet the growing electricity demand of the city.
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